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New York City This Week: Comedy Fest, Book Riot, Westbeth Flea

The five coolest things to do in and around New York City this week

This week in New York we’ve got the premier of the city’s first museum dedicated to food and drink, a feel-good flea market, and comedy and book festivals to keep you laughing and reading. Fall's always a good time to get out of town, and Woodstock, NY has been welcoming city folk since well before the 1969 music festival put its name on the map.

November 6–8 | Shopping
Westbeth Flea Market
Westbeth Artists’ Housing is a living monument to Greenwich Village’s artsy past. While the neighborhood has gentrified, the affordable housing and studios remain and the tenants have hosted this incredible flea market for the past 31 years. The artists, musicians, writers, and actors who call Westbeth home donate the goods and original artwork, and the proceeds go back to their community. It’s kind of like rummaging through an artist’s home, except everything is available for purchase. There are plenty of gems for those who like the hunt of a flea market.
11 a.m.–5 p.m. | Westbeth, 55 Bethune St., New York | Free | website

November 7–8 | Convention
Book Riot Live
Literature geeks are probably already aware of the popular website and podcast Book Riot, but Book Riot Live—their first ever three-day reader convention—isn't as well known. Join writers, literary agents, authors, publishers, and avid readers for panel discussions, live podcast recordings, workshops, and even cocktails in the rare book-room at the Strand. It's a fun lineup: There's a talk about fan fiction, a session on writing about war, nerd Jeopardy, and even a combo writing/exercise workshop where participants are encouraged to wear workout clothes.
Times vary | Metropolitan West, 639 West 46th St., New York | From $89 | website

November 10–15 | Comedy
New York Comedy Festival
If you’re in need of a good laugh then check out the dozens of shows, round tables, live podcast recordings, and talks that make up the New York Comedy Festival. Produced by Carolines on Broadway in association with Comedy Central, the long-running festival features 200-plus comedians and more than 60 shows throughout the city. Check out the Stand Up for Heroes benefit, which not only boasts an impressive lineup (John Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, and John Oliver to name a few) but also supports a good cause. You can also catch Margaret Cho at Town Hall, or a conversation with Lewis Black.
Times, locations & prices vary | website

AFAR Local is published every Wednesday, so check back for insider updates on restaurant openings, festivals, exhibitions, shows, weekend escapes, and more. Planning a trip? The AFAR guide to New York has you covered.

New opening | Museum
Museum of Food and Drink
Food-lovers should definitely check out the brand new Museum of Food and Drink, which just opened in Williamsburg last week. The mastermind behind the museum is Dave Arnold, the culinary wizard known for his experimental and modernist cooking techniques, which he approaches with scientific seriousness in his food lab. The inaugural exhibit is Flavor: Making It and Faking It, and explores the art and science of flavor creation through comparisons of natural and artificial flavors, starting with vanilla. Visitors are encouraged to taste, smell, and create in this interactive setting.
Hours vary (closed Monday and Tuesday) | 62 Bayard St., Brooklyn | $10 | website

Weekend Escape
Woodstock, NY
Although the famous festival of the same name actually happened over an hour away in White Lake, this quaint Catskills town (the intended home for the concert) still gets all the fame. But there are many other reasons Woodstock has remained a perennial weekend destination. Less than two hours from the city, the town is welcoming, with plenty of charm and a thriving artists’ community. Walk around the Village Green to find galleries, antique stores, bookstores, restaurants, and cafés (who can resist a place called Peace, Love and Cupcakes?). Have dinner at The Bear Cafe, an enduring Woodstock favorite, where you’ll be hard-pressed to decide whether to sit by the fire or at a table overlooking the stream. Stay at The Village Green Bed and Breakfast, a Victorian inn situated right in downtown Woodstock, so you can easily walk to everything.

A native New Yorker, Katherine is a freelance food and travel writer who has eaten her way across the globe and is always on the lookout for her next great meal. She is an avid reader, insatiable traveler, sometimes photographer, and mom to an inquisitive toddler.